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Ask Ashlee: Am I Wrong To Give Up My Rights As A Father, Because The Mother Is Too Toxic?

Dear Ask Ashlee,

I have always had a difficult relationship with my dad. Like any child, I wanted him around a lot more than he was and when he wasn’t, I just figured he didn’t want to be. One day we had a conversation and I told him how I felt, and he blamed my mother for his lack of involvement. He told me how hard she made things for him and how eventually he just stopped trying. At the time I just thought it was an excuse until about a year ago when I had my son. His mother and I aren’t together, and she does everything in her power to keep my son from me. Our story is pretty typical, we tried a relationship, and it didn’t work and now we have a child together. She tries to control everything about the situation and makes it hard for me to be in my son’s life. See the irony? My question is a tough one to ask but I’m asking anyway, am I wrong if I don’t want to fight, meaning, would I be wrong to give up my rights and no longer have any further contact with them? This situation is not how I saw my family being built. I honestly still question if he is my son. I’m not a deadbeat father and I am a good man. I want to be there for him, but I won’t tolerate a woman who wants to make my life difficult. I don’t have the means to take her to court and go through all of that, so if she won’t allow me to be the kind of father I want to be, which is an active one, then am I wrong for walking away and saving myself the grief and heart attack?

Mr. What Are My Options

Dear Mr. What Are My Options,

So, here’s the thing, it’s important for you to know that you do have options and relinquishing your rights is one of them. Women have to choose to be mothers and once they have made that choice, they have a little time to sit with that as their bodies change and develop life inside of them. Fathers really don’t have any control within that time and can only prepare with what the mother chooses for her body. Now you can choose to give up your rights and no longer have contact with them, but you need to accept the consequences that could come with that decision. If the mother is already creating difficulties for you, then there is a narrative that will be created when your son asks about you (if she chooses to tell him). Prepare yourself mentally because it will have an effect on you one way or another. Only you can make this decision and you need to be able to stand by the decision once it has been made. I will tell you this, there are some things, like visitation, through the courts that don’t cost a lot of money and there are programs like The Black Fathers Foundation that can help with resources, and they offer grants that can be used towards those resources. You have to make the decision that you can live with, but when you become a parent, you don’t always make choices that are best for you, sometimes you sacrifice to provide what’s best for your child. I hope this helps!

Love & Light,


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